I’ve had ample time to get over what I like to call “worst-division-names-ever-gate,” i.e., the Big Ten’s announcement last December that starting this year its teams would be split into two divisions, the “Legends” and the “Leaders.” It is difficult to imagine coming up with something worse than this, but perhaps one should have low expectations for a twelve-team Big “Ten,” anyway. They should have just gone with Division A and Division 1, which would have been equally as informative and no less random. At least they could have gone with any two seven letter words with fewer than five letters (including the first and last) in common. But, what are you going to do?
The time to complain is gone. Now there is nothing left to do but try to figure out which division is which. Here’s a helpful guide:
First: what are the divisions?
The Leaders: Indiana, Illinois, Ohio State, Purdue, Penn State, Wisconsin.
The Legends: Iowa, Minnesota, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern.
Next: how do I remember who goes where?
1. The “Leaders.” The leaders division forms a smile on the map (maybe even an “L” shape), from Wisconsin down to Illinois to Purdue and Indiana to Ohio State and finally to Penn State. If you’re not smiling, you’re probably a Legend.
2. The “Legends.” The Big Ten tried its hardest to make sure there was no rhyme or reason to the divisions. But, it missed one. Alphabetical order. By some twist of fate, the Legends are the six teams in alphabetical order, starting with Iowa: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern. Also, except for Iowa, they all start with M or N. So, you may just want to remember “MNMNMIowa!” as your rallying cry. As many of our leaders have trouble with alphabetical order, it is a good thing they’re not Legends.
Now, that may help you remember which teams are grouped together, but it still doesn’t help you remember which ones are the Legends or which ones are the Leaders. To that I respond: Really? Who cares?
But, maybe you do. So, here are some tips. First, the Leaders actually lead the alphabet, with Illinois and Indiana. Next, the Legends (which has a “n” in it) contains the teams that start with N.
I have a feeling this may be the most important post I write this year.